Hospitals in Italy
A traveler's guide to hospitals and health care in Italy
The main civic hospital in Venice occupies a 15th century monastery and is quite beautiful, inside and out. They also let me keep the X-rays of my head which, along with the prescription pills to help fight of my serious case of sinusitis, came absolutely free of charge. Oh, and I was in and out in under an hour having only filled out one form with my name and address. I love socialized medicine.If you find you need to visit the ospedale (hospital) in Italy, just find the nearest one and march right in. Doctors are an educated bunch, and most hospitals sport at least a handful who speak English.
Italy, like much of Europe, practices semi-socialized medicine, so you may very well be taken care of swiftly, given a dose of medicine and a prescription for more, and sent on your way with a smile.
At most, they'll bill you on the spot for $35 to $50. You can trust me; I've done this a lot. (I've been to Italian hospitals in Rome, Florence, Venice, and Palermo—though only the one in Venice was for myself.)
For a description of what a typical visit to an Italian hospital is like, see the "health insurance" page.
For added piece of mind, many big cities have private hospitals with native English speakers; any local American consulate can provide a list.
If you do end up paying for health care, especially if you have to be admitted for any reason, most health insurance plans and HMOs will cover, at least to some extent, out-of-country hospital visits and procedures.
Most make you pay the bills up front at the time of care, however, and you'll get a refund after you've returned and filed all the paperwork. See the insurance page for details.
- Try not to get sick. (Yeah, I get paid to come up with zingers like that.) No, seriously: drink plenty of fluids throughout the day (note: I'm talking about water here, not the wine); try to get plenty of rest (use the riposo!); eat your veggies; wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Travel is an exhausting, often stressful business, and your immune system needs all the help it can get.
- Health concerns
- Safety concerns
- Issues for niche groups
This material was last updated February 2011. All information was accurate at the time.
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Copyright © 2008–2012 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett